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Reversibility and the age of an allele. 11. Two-allele models, with selection and mutation

, : Reversibility and the age of an allele. 11. Two-allele models, with selection and mutation. Theoretical Population Biology 12(2): 179-196

A Markov process with absorbing boundaries may be made recurrent by returning the process to the interior whenever a boundary is reached. The age of such a process may be defined as the length of time since the last return event. Examples drawn from 2-allele genetic models are discussed, in which reversibility of the return process means that the age of an allele whose present frequency in the population is known has the same probability distribution as its future extinction time. Some discrete models are not reversible, yet if approximated by diffusion processes, the (approximate) age distribution is the same as the future extinction time distribution. Various results in the literature are unified by this viewpoint.


PMID: 929456

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